Is Your Kid Peculiar Enough?

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Is Your Kid Peculiar Enough?

After running The Original Music School for close to ten years, I have had many conversations with parents who were concerned that their son or daughter didn’t fit in.

They were concerned that their child didn’t do well in sports or simply didn’t have much in common with most other kids.  Often times, these kids are obsessed with one thing such as, computers, comic books or as I’ve seen the most - music.

Parents are typically concerned that being so focused on one thing will leave them without marketable skills and alone in the world.

However, if you read just a little about the top disrupters in any field - the people who change the world - they are the peculiar people.  Winners are peculiar people.

Think about it.  Do you think even one Olympic athlete is “normal?”  Of course they aren’t!

Who in their right mind would be so obsessed that they would punish themselves with the endless hours of conditioning and training it takes to even get a shot at competing in the Olympics?

Whatever it is that impels an Olympiad to train is what inspired Bill Gates to spend all of his free time programming computers or the Beatles writing and playing music.

Moms and dads continue to come to me concerned for their children who want to major in music fearing they would never be successful in spite of the fact that there are many ways a musician can earn a great living, from entertaining to education.

I have never been sorry for recommending that they let them pursue their passion as long as the kids agree to work on a planned program that will leave them prepared in their field.  In other words, create marketable skills.

Many times, the students went on to be hugely successful as musical artists or even working for companies like Disney or in the public school system.  Other times, letting the student see the effort it takes to be a success has caused them to take another path.

My hope for those on another path is that they are peculiar enough to be a game changer in their chosen fields.

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A Record Label In Morristown

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A Record Label In Morristown

Morristown is known as a vibrant little city with everything one could want - a bustling nightlife, major medical facilities, universities, gyms, the arts and more.

Many are now learning that Morristown is home to a real record label: Wild Child Records, which is run by the Original Music School (OMS) at 26 Morris Street.

Founder, Anthony Vitale explained how this came about. “I was part of an artist development team comprised of multiple Grammy winners, spearheaded by double Grammy winner John Rollo (Whitney Houston, the Kinks, Joe Cocker...etc.)  

Due to changes in the industry we decided to close our doors.That’s when I started to explore what to do next and my answer was OMS!”

OMS is a music school teaching all of the usual instruments, but it is also home to  unique songwriting and music production programs.  

These programs teach earnest musicians of all ages to write and record their own music.  Beyond that, students learn the business side of the new recording industry and how to apply those lessons to every other aspects of life.

What really makes the programs exciting and effective is that Wild Child Records is home to artists who have reached the level needed to compete in the real world market. They mentor OMS students by creating professionally written and recorded songs, and even videos right in front of the students in the studio.

Sometimes, the student even get to play a part in their mentor’s creation.

 

In this video by Dr Scientist, the band shares the spotlight with multiple OMS students, including Kiril who stars in the video!  

Wild Child Records is presently accepting demos of aspiring recording artists and The Original Music School has just begun summer camps and its Music Industry Boot Camp.  They have a rolling admission so it is not too late to get into any of their programs.

 

Check out Dr Scientist !

 

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It’s the End of Radio As We Know It!  And I feel fine!

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It’s the End of Radio As We Know It! And I feel fine!

If you drove across the country today, the station you’d listen to might be coming from your cell phone and you would never have to change the station.  

If you listened to terrestrial radio, stations would fade as you left their broadcast area and you would change to local stations as you passed from city to city.  Since all of those stations are all owned by the same few corporations you would be listening to the same set of songs all day - no matter where you travel.  Not much variety at all!

It wasn’t always like that.  

There was a time before computers and huge media conglomerates when someone could drive across the country and tune in local radio stations that mainly played local artists from local studios/record companies.  

Each studio and geographic area had a its own sound and style.  Those studios usually had a relationship with the local radio stations and would get local hit records.  

When a song became a hit, that hit being played daily would help the artist sell records and sell out local shows.  Soon artists could be playing in a nearby town after the next town and it’s station picked up on that artist’s local success. That is how people like Chuck Berry, Elvis and Johnny Cash built their careers.

Those magical days of local flavor have mostly vanished because the corporations have made a formula of radio and one program director in New York City may make the playlist for stations the company owns across the country.  Not very exciting, is it?

Well, the times are a changin’ and it’s very exciting!

AM radio is dying as a generation of listeners turns to other media to be entertained.  Ratings drive the cost of advertising and less and less people are buying ads since there is no one listening.  It’s gotten so cheap that weekend broadcasts are made up entirely of paid programming - people selling products via ads that are disguised as radio shows.

FM is in trouble too. Media companies in the U.S. bit off more than they could chew back in the 90s when they went on station buying sprees and now the bill is coming due.

For instance, iHeart Radio (which used to be Clear Channel) is being asked to pony up $6 billion by investors, and that's not easy for a company that's projected to lose $80 million this year.

So, why do I feel fine?

Because this is good news for the local artists.  The very bean counters that ruined radio with homogenized playlists and an apathetic approach to programming will be the ones to call for the corporations to get out of the radio business since it stopped making them money.  They were only in it for the money in the first place.

The cost of these stations will drop and local investors who are passionate about music may have a way to get back into the radio biz.  These stations will need to offer an alternative to what people can get via streaming internet station.  They will also have no rules!

So, this is where we get back to the local acts being played and supported.  The stations will go back to being community oriented, serving the area from which they are broadcasting.

Hopefully, these station owners and their DJs will nurture relationships with the local music clubs and recording studios and artists.  If that happens, you will see a revival of that old magical model from which rock’n’roll was birthed in the 1950s.

I recommend you get back to writing and recording that music you were thinking about so you’ll be ready for the new/old radio model.  Once you start getting local airplay and selling out local clubs, the next town over may hear about you and start playing your music too!

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Connor plugged his 6 string bass into a looper.  You won't believe what happened next!

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Connor plugged his 6 string bass into a looper. You won't believe what happened next!

At OMS our staff is made up of working musicians.  That means we all write, record, produce, gig...etc.   If we teach it we DO IT!

Some of the staff are bandmates too.  Trevor and Connor are bandmates in Dr Scientist.  Here is Connor playing a Dr Scientist song with a looper and a six string bass.  It was taped live!  No editing or studio tricks - just talent and years of practice.

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Why Should You Care If Your Child Is Creative?

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Why Should You Care If Your Child Is Creative?

I often remind my students that they have all the information man has ever known at their  fingertips via the internet.  I then challenge them with:  

“What are you going to do with it?”

Knowledge is essential, but we would have no forward progress without creativity.

To see an example of that, watch the movie, ‘Apollo 13’ with your kids.  

While the astronauts were approaching the moon, an oxygen tank exploded in the module, making it impossible to bring them home safely with the ship in that condition.

The engineers, scientists and astronauts at home had a wealth of scientific information, but it was their creative minds that solved the puzzle of how to jury rig a broken down space module with only the parts they had on board.

Those people were amazingly creative!

The marriage of creativity and knowledge is the thing that has created groundbreaking inventions throughout history.  Creativity is the force of most of the cures in medicine and enables police to solve crimes when everyone thinks the trail to justice has dried up.

This is not lost on those who run today’s most successful businesses.  

In a 2010 IBM Global Survey of over 1500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 different industries worldwide, creativity was selected as THE most crucial factor of success! Creativity got more votes than integrity, discipline, hard work or vision!

This could be frightening for a parent who is unsure of their child’s creativity.  Even worse if their child shows no signs of a creative bent!

Thankfully, the fact of the matter is, we all do have that creative spark in us.  Many of us just need to learn how to build that element of our thinking.

So, can you learn creativity?  Yes, you can!  And if you are already creative, you can build on that and be even more creative, and here is how…

Creativity is a process.  We all have an “a-ha” moment from time to time.  All one needs to do is to learn what to do when that happens and how to think in order to have those moments more often.

Creativity is a subject that is being taught more and more at universities around the globe.  Here at OMS, we’ve been teaching creativity via the songwriting process for close to a decade.

We do this by teaching students how to brainstorm - that is - come up with many alternative ideas.  Students learn to quit the common habit of self-editing before the idea is given a chance.  The word “no” is not allowed to be spoken during a songwriting session.

Students are also taught not to be afraid to share ideas or have them altered by another member of the group.  

These are just a few points in several processes we teach at summer camps and in courses all year round. 
I encourage you to email us for more information and discounts to get your children in a summer camp at a deep discount.  They will use their newfound creativity in every other aspect of their lives and have a gift they can use forever.

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How Does A Songwriter/Guitarist/Producer Juggle All Those Tasks?!

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How Does A Songwriter/Guitarist/Producer Juggle All Those Tasks?!

Trevor O'Connor Tells Us How!

Our songwriting programs are run by currently recording, gigging
artists and musicians.

We continue to walk the walk instead of just resting on past success.

I am sure you will enjoy this interview from dharmicevolution.com with Trevor O’Connor (OMS Manager). Trevor is promoting his band's (Dr Scientist) latest releases “Belongings” and "Maybe."

In this interview Trevor talks about the creative process as a songwriter and
in the studio as a guitarist, singer and producer.   He also talks about authoring
the OMS flagship guitar program - Guaranteed Guitarist!

 

Listen Below! or CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Have you ever thought about being in a band, producing music or writing your own songs?

If so, fill out the form below and receive a free listening session or sample class.

OR come in and get a free tour of the studio.  You will meet other people like you, who are writing, playing, recording and achieving their dreams everyday.

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What Songwriters Are Learning From Donald Trump

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What Songwriters Are Learning From Donald Trump

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has been all over the news.  He has been dictating the conversation in the debates, in the news, and over coffee at breakfast tables around the world.

Is he controversial?  Perhaps, but there is no denying that his choice of topics have been issues at the center of the conversation.  That’s not all.  His tone, and manner of speaking has been called in for discussion.  He has been called brutish and even worse, yet he has resonated with a great percentage of the population.

Other politicians are clearly speaking with more flowery, eloquent speeches, yet the polls have shown that all of that effort has produced less than desirous polling numbers.  

I’m not about to get into his merits or faults as a presidential candidate.  You’ll have to have coffee with me to hear my thoughts on that.  I’m here to tell you what I learned from paying attention to his speeches and their effect on virtually everyone who has listened to him.

Say What Others Aren’t

Trump makes the news daily for saying things others either aren’t thinking about or are unwilling to bring up.  As a songwriter, we have to also bring up topics that others aren’t writing about.  That way, our songs will be the songs people talk about, sing and buy!

Relationships are what most songs are about.  Love is probably the topic most written about, but that is not the only feeling we experience in relationships.  

Are you always in eyelash batting love 24/7?  Of course not.  Sometimes you are angry, jealous, patriotic, sad...etc. the list goes on, and we can even write about our interactions with our pets, or even our cars, our house… whatever!  

Willie Nelson had a huge hit with a song called, “Hello Walls,” in which he actually was talking to his house after the love of his life moved out of it.

The Young Rascals had a hit that was simply about a beautiful morning.  While others are simply writing the same old love songs you can offer something different. But you don’t need to overthink it.  In fact you want to keep it simple, and that brings me to my next point.

Sing to Your Simplest Listener

Trump detractors have been quick to call him stupid.  Some wonder aloud how anyone could support someone who has put things so simply they aren’t even sure if he could actually be serious.  But I believe he is serious.  He is so serious, he is making sure that even the simplest among us understand his message.

Additionally, he brands his competitors with simple descriptions.  He’ll say Jeb Bush is “low energy,” or Carly Fiorina is “robotic.”  Even if you like the person he labels, you are likely to think of that short label every time you see them.

This is a great way for you to think when you are writing lyrics.  Keep it simple so your song is instantly understood.  If you want your listener to dance to your funky beat, just say it!

Sly and the Family Stone had a huge hit with, “Dance To The Music!”  Can’t get any simpler than that!

If you can say something with less words - do it!  If you have words in your lyrics that don’t add anything to the story such as, “well,” “so,” “even...etc.” cut them out.  If the melody works without them, they serve no purpose and water down your lyrics.

You see, although I’m asking you to write simple lyrics, I still expect them to be strong and well stated.

In the chorus of “Dance to the Music,” you’ll notice that that is all the lyrics to the whole chorus, which brings me to the next great Trump tactic.

Repeat Repeat Repeat

Remember Trump’s simple description tactic?  Well, he really makes it work by saying it a few times.  In fact, sometimes that’s all he’ll say for awhile.  Hmmm… sounds like a chorus!

When you have a catchy part in your song, don’t be afraid to repeat it enough so that it becomes something catchy resonating in the listeners’ heads all the way home from your show.

I think I may have heard someone once say, never let a hook go to waste.

So, what exactly is a hook?  I’m glad you asked.  Mr. Trump uses the very technique I have been teaching songwriters for decades and I’m going to show that to you in a minute.

You Never See it Coming

Trump often begins by making some remark apparently critical of the Mexicans and the Chinese. Then he says, I love the Mexican and Chinese people, and they love me, especially the rich ones who buy my apartments or stay at my hotels or play on my golf courses. Notice what has happened. The potentially offensive insult turns into backhand praise of its targets, at least of those who can afford to live in Trump's world.

If he had, as expected, continued to speak critically of those countries, the listeners may simply zone out or nod off.  Instead, they are surprised and “hooked” to listen to what he’s going to say next.

Likewise, we can create great hooks in our songs by setting up the listener to expect one thing and then give them something else.

There is not enough room in this blog to give you the full details on how to do this or the aforementioned points you can learn from Donald Trump’s speeches.  However, feel free to try these techniques and email the result to me.  I’d love to give you my opinion or help.

If you’d like to meet face to face and talk about your songs, I’d love to meet with you.  Just fill out the form with your info or email whatever you would like to create@originalmusicschool.com
Or we could just get a cup of coffee and you can tell me who to vote for!

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Six Remarkable Ways Learning to Play the Piano Makes Kids More Successful

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Six Remarkable Ways Learning to Play the Piano Makes Kids More Successful

There are many benefits of playing the piano throughout someone's life. The most obvious being the great fun and memories made by being able to play at parties and gigs.

The very act of practicing the piano creates a combination of mental enrichment and relaxation that feeds your brain with positive stimulation for good mental health.

Playing the piano can make children more successful throughout their lives in many different ways.  Here are a few points to ponder.


1. Reading Music
Learning to read piano music gives you a huge boost when participating in band, orchestra or choir.
The foundational skills of piano playing can quickly transfer to other instruments and settings.  Being able to read reduces the stress of learning by focusing only on the techniques needed to play the instrument.
Additionally, the ability to play vocal lines on the piano allows student vocalists to quickly and easily learn new music.
2. An Ear for Pitch
Playing an in-tune piano develops your ear for pitch and the ability to clearly identify intonation issues - which is especially useful when learning a new instrument and playing in a band or orchestra.
It can be stressful to be told that you are sharp or flat when you cannot recognize or fix it. The ability to recognize an A-440 and flawed intonation will give you many skills for tuning and performing.
3. Developing Rhythm
As a rhythmic instrument, playing the piano develops skills and steady timekeeping which translates especially well to percussion instruments. Consistent piano practice with a metronome helps you quickly recognize the speed of common tempos such as andante, allegro and presto.
4. Chord Structure
Because of the layout of the keyboard, the piano offers a unique opportunity to visualize chords.  This gives you an understanding of chord structure that will be valuable for coming up with vocal harmonies and learning the guitar or other instruments.  For students who tend to learn visually, this can provide a huge advantage.

5. Developing Self-Worth
Learning to play a piece of piano music provides a strong sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Setting learning or performance goals and accomplishing them is meaningful to any student.
Success in the piano studio leads to confidence when tackling any goals or educational lessons - such as math homework, tests and essays. The ability to break a goal into multiple tasks and small steps towards success is valuable for many different aspects of life.
6. Poise, Confidence, and Relaxation
Performing in front of an audience develops confidence and poise. This prepares you for public speaking and presentations that you may encounter throughout high school, college and your career.
 It can be frightening to walk in front of an audience and be the focus of their attention. Practice and comfort with performance builds skills that will create comfort in front of crowds for a lifetime.
Playing the piano can be a very relaxing pursuit as well. Unlike wind instruments that can emit sour notes or string instruments that screech, the piano often still sounds beautifully melodic - even when just beginning to learn the instrument. Learning to play the piano develops foundational musical skills, confidence and poise while also giving you a sense of accomplishment, mental enrichment and relaxation to enhance the successful life goals you wish to accomplish.

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7 Famous Drummers Share Their Secrets to Success

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7 Famous Drummers Share Their Secrets to Success

I have had the good fortune of working with so many great drummers in my life.  All of them were different while having so many things in common.  You'll find those thing in common in the list of tips below.

Before reading on, I'd like to mention that while working with students, I find most of them are doing the opposite of the great tips we’ve assembled below.  Be wise and command the drum kit in short order by taking to heart and applying the advice from these great drummers!

If you don’t mind, I’d like to add my own tip.  I’m not a drummer but I have played with and produced many great ones and I have heard them extol this tip many times.  That is - practice to a metronome!  You can easily download a free app for you phone so you have no excuse.

Okay, in no particular order, I leave you to some of today’s greatest drummers.

Steve Jordan, says on his DVD, The Groove Is Here,” playing simple is not stupid!”  He goes on to explain in the video that you need to just lay down the groove, and he has been doing this for artists such as, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, James Brown and many more.

Bernard Purdie - studio legend known as “The World’s Most Recorded Drummer,” has more to add to Mr. Jordan’s thoughts.  “When you are grooving, you don’t have to play anything but 2 and 4, but when you miss it, it sticks out like a sore thumb.  It’s harder to play rock and R’n’B than anything else, because it’s so simple.” (Modern Drummer, November 1985)

Stewart Copeland, famed drummer for the Police, says to relax!

“If you listen to the really powerful drummers, you’ll notice that they’re actually very relaxed when they play.

Let’s take John Bonham (of Led Zepplin), who’s probably the mountain of power – he’s got a very relaxed, easy style. His contact with his sticks, and the way they hit the drums, is very relaxed.

This gives you a lot more power, far more than other drummers who clutch their sticks tightly, tense their muscles and attack the drums with ferocity. You actually achieve more impact with relaxation.

He also recommends that you learn to play quieter saying, “I had to learn how to play quietly. In pursuit of this new dynamic range, I discovered that the drums sounded so much better, and all the technique was easier and more relevant, when I played in a relaxed manner. There’s all kinds of blessings that come with it.”  (musicradar.com, April 2015)

Chad Smith of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, likes to practice some slow funk.

Practicing at a bunch of different tempos is great for control. Slow funk is one way I change it up, and when you’re doing it it’s great to work on little embellishments to your main beat.

... I might take a simple slow funk groove... and spice it up with tasty additions, like changing up the kick drum, adding hi-hat flourishes, or little buzz strokes on the snare just to try and build up the beat into something that’ll make you want to move!  (Drum Magazine April 2013)

Stanton Moore of Galactic and one of the funkiest and most versatile drummers of our time explains that you need to be aware of what the rest of the band is playing and consider what is best for the song.  

“You’ll hear drummers who play stuff and it’s like, ’Okay, I can understand it took you many hours of practice to develop that. And I can appreciate the work that went into that. But what does that have to do with the music that is here right now?’

Music is a conversation. It just is. It’s a conversation between a group of people and you have an audience that watches that. You want to stay topical.”  (Drum Magazine October 2010)

Kenny Aronoff, seems to have played with practically everyone. He is in such demand that he says the only way to keep all his scheduled gigs and be prepared at go time is to transcribe his drum parts.

When he gets to each gig, he takes out his sheet music and plays.  The trick, however, is to be able to play without sounding like you are reading.  Kenny says that took years of practice and instruction.  (Kenny started his drum lessons with the famous Vic Firth.)

Kenny’s advice to people is as you’re practicing all your technique, do not forget about listening to everybody, whether you’re playing with musicians live or you’re playing with recorded music.

Don’t just focus on yourself; listen to everything that’s happening including yourself because that will influence you on how you play. You have to go through this whole development and growth and figure out what you think is the best way to play the drums when you’re playing music with other people.

Obviously the things you have to focus on are play the right beat for the song, think about time, think about groove, making it all feel good, don’t just play from your neck up—you feel everything.

Even when you are practicing technique, there is so much to learn and so much to know, so much to think about that you can’t learn it in one year. You’ve got to be willing to commit.

Travis Barker, known as the brains and drummer of Blink-182, knows that taking lessons is the most effective way to be a great drummer quickly.  

At 5 years of age Travis Barker started taking drum set lessons with a jazz drummer named Michael Mai, who exposed him to a lot of different styles of music. It was also at this time that he began taking trumpet lessons.

Being familiar with other instruments is a great thing, since the drums are meant to be part of a band.  No sense taking drum lessons and just playing by yourself in the basement!

Editor’s note:

I encourage you to look up each of these drummers and learn about their history and listen to their music.

If you would like to play in a band and/or take drum lessons with proven methods to get you playing in a matter of weeks, or get simply get more great info like this, email me at create@originalmusicschool.com  and mention this ad.  I’ll give you a FREE lesson if you share the article and “like” it on Facebook.

Create!  Don't imitate!

 

 

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Use These 7 Tips to Start Playing the Guitar Better by Tomorrow

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Use These 7 Tips to Start Playing the Guitar Better by Tomorrow

Over the years, I have picked up a lot of key tips that have turned out to be game changers in my playing. I am giving you seven of the most effective tips in this list. Some of them may not seem like the most glamorous tricks, but try them on and reap the rewards in your playing immediately.
1. Adjust the Way You Hold Your Pick
You may be surprised to hear that only millimeters on the tip of the pick should be used to pluck the strings. This, of course, varies with playing style.
If you are strumming an acoustic guitar, use a little more pick on the strings. While playing lightning fast runs, hold the pick so that a sliver of the end is plucking the strings. The fingers that are holding the pick should be just about to brush the string as your pick glides across it.
2. Use Your Fingertips
Use the bony tips of your fingers instead of the softer pads on the faces of your fingers. It takes less energy to fret a solid note with each finger when using the tips.
Less energy means more relaxation. More relaxation means more speed when you need it. This also has the effect of keeping more of your finger out of the way of other strings. Pull-offs and hammer-ons become way easier using the bony tips.
There are plenty of exceptions to this rule. Apply it and note the difference immediately.
3. Reposition the Way You Hold the Guitar
This is another tip that may seem a bit basic. Look for the hidden nugget here.
Having your guitar positioned comfortably can really effect how well you can play with ease. If you are seated with your guitar on your knee, experiment with which knee you use to support the guitar.
If you have your electric guitar slung so low on its strap that your shoelaces are getting tangled in your high E string, you may need to adjust. Bring the guitar up until it feels comfortable to your hands and wrists.
Having the guitar hanging around your waist is about right.  I like it a bit higher.  If you are worried about looking cool, you should know there is nothing cooler than being amazing on your guitar.  Playing it at the right height will help you play your best.
4. Angle Your Pick
Don’t be fooled into thinking that your pick must catch and pluck flat-on to the string. Using the joints of your thumb and fingers, rotate the angle of the pick clockwise so that it attacks the string a little bit off axis. This makes one edge of the pick glide over the string before the other.
Once you get the hang of how to adjust the angle of attack on the string, you will immediately feel a significant difference in the ease in your picking. Experiment with subtle changes in the angle of the pick against the string. You will find that the difference is huge.
5. Have Fun
Are you thinking that this is a no-brainer tip? It is. Then again, you might be surprised at how often people practice so hard that it's no longer fun. When you enjoy something, you are likely to do it well. This makes all the difference in the world.
Don’t take it so seriously that you stop having fun.  In fact, this is good advice about most things in life. Make your practice fun by challenging yourself to get one thing done each session.  That could mean you are going to master just the first four bars in the piece you are working on today.  Tomorrow, you can attack the second four bars and so on.
6. Relax!
There are two different modes your muscles can work in. One of those is power mode, the other is lightning fast mode.
Your muscles can not move your fingers quick and agile as a hummingbird hopped up on sugar if you are trying to crush the strings through the fret board. As your fingers become familiar with the passages and chords you are practicing, try to relax more and more.
FYI, the stronger your hands get through lots of practice, the less strength it will take to play and you will naturally be more relaxed.
7. Silence Your Strings
It is really cheesy sounding to have strings you don’t intend to play ringing out as you play.
How do you keep those other strings quiet?
Use the soft edge of your picking hand to silence strings that you aren't using. Picture the edge of your picking hand that you would karate chop with. Use that soft part just up hand from your pinky as a silencer for unused strings.
This will feel a bit tricky at first but it is a habit that is well worth developing. It can really clean up your playing and make it sound more professional.

There they are! Seven tips that will improve your guitar playing right now.
Make them yours by applying them with daily practice. Remember that all the licks and tricks in the world won't help one bit if you don't apply them to your playing.
Here is a bonus tip for improving your guitar playing right now and here it is!
Take Some Lessons From a Pro
All of the great guitarist throughout history learned from someone who could play well.  You may be cruising down the fast lane on your quest to play your instrument, but learning from a professional music teacher with put you on the Autobahn and you will grow faster than you could possibly imagine.
A professional teacher will have a guaranteed curriculum that works every time in enabling musicians like yourself.  You will skip over hurdles and perfect your technique.  You will also learn music theory so you will understand what and why to play the chords, licks and melody lines needed in a piece of music to play your best and wow your friends and other musicians!

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Before You Form a Band, Make Sure You Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

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Before You Form a Band, Make Sure You Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

I have been in bands most of my life and there are few things that bring my as much joy and excitement as that.  Being in a band is like being in my own tribe or gang that goes from venue to venue making people happy with the sounds we make.
Every new song and venue is a new adventure and sometimes a challenge.  What’s even better is the feeling I get when a packed venue is singing my songs along with the band and the whole crowd is bouncing in unison to the beat we are providing.
Right now you are thinking, “Yes! I want in!”   Well, first you need to ask yourself these six questions to decide if you are up for the not so glamorous side of being in a band.  
1. Do you have the time?
Just as you have to make time to practice your instrument, a band needs time to rehearse.
Instead of taking an hour out of your own schedule, the one you control, you’re now dealing with the competing schedules of several people, and it’s likely that each of those people has activities that compete for his or her time.
2. Do you have the place?
If the issue of time is solved, there’s still the issue of space.
Bands make noise. Some bands make a lot of noise.
Even if you’re planning to form a garage band in the most literal sense, people in the vicinity of that garage may object. There’s always rehearsal space for rent, but the issue of space needs to be dealt with early in the process. A band without a place to rehearse is only a band in theory.
3. Do you have the right people?
Being in a band is very much maintaining a relationship with at least three people involved.  Each member that you add to the group makes it even more complicated.
Does everyone in the band have compatible personalities?  I hope so.  You want to spend your time creating great music - not drama.
Does everyone in the band agree on the level of commitment you choose to bring?  If you want to rehearse daily and gig every week, you will get frustrated quickly if your bassist only wants to rehearse once a week and a gig once a month.  Be sure to have this conversation before you start.
How good are the players in your band?
You’ll need people who are all capable of keeping up with the rest of the band. They don’t all have to be masters, and their skill levels don’t have to be equal, but playing in a group requires some minimal proficiency of everyone.
4. Do you have the patience?
Since a band is made of people, it won’t always be smooth sailing. Conflicts will arise. Compromise will be necessary.
Not everyone will have the same commitment to the band. Not everyone will want to work as hard.
Can you deal with the very human elements that come into play in any group, musical or otherwise?
 Musicians aren’t always the easiest people to deal with, and a band won’t survive unless everyone has at least a minimal commitment to getting along.
5. Is it for love or for money?
If you aren’t doing it for love, don’t do it.  
I don’t know of one successful musician who didn’t enter into the field for the love of music first.  Money can be made but it takes work and dedication.  It takes the kind of dedication from someone who loves what they are doing, because for a long time you won’t make money.
I encourage you to make money doing something you love no matter what that is.
There will be jobs other than making music that you will have to do before you will be able to hire professionals to do them for you.  You will need to book your own gigs, manage the band’s bank account, managing publicity and lots more.  
These things can be tedious, but loving what you do will make it so much easier.
You need decide if you love being in a band enough to get the business tasks done each week.  To put it kindly, musicians aren’t always the best businessmen.  You should give careful consideration to this side of the operation early on. Otherwise, rude awakenings are a virtual certainty.
6. Are you ready for the grind?
Playing in a band can be a great pleasure, but there are other things to consider.
Are you prepared to constantly work on your set list?  To keep your show fresh you will need to change your list of songs and add to that list often.  So, if you are in a cover band that means you will have to search out new songs and the whole band needs to learn them.
If you are an original band it is even harder.  You will have to constantly be writing new material and arranging the songs with the band.  That takes a great deal of effort and time.
Money may come down the road, but be prepared to spend some time playing gigs that pay little or nothing. As an unknown band, your band may not get paying gigs immediately.
Get out in public anyway.

A FREE OFFER FROM ME

If you are starting a band, want to put together a band, or are in a band already.  You can email me at create@originalmusicschool.com with any questions you might have and I'll be happy to answer them for you.  If you need advice on either the music side or the business side, I can help you. 

I've been helping people like you in amateur and professional bands for many years.  I've worked with GRAMMY award winning production teams developing bands to shop to the major labels and I can help you.  Just send me an email and I'll answer any questions you have - free of charge.

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If You Want to Write Songs Like Taylor Swift, You'll Need This Important Advice

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If You Want to Write Songs Like Taylor Swift, You'll Need This Important Advice

So you want to be a songwriter like Taylor Swift?

Well first, let's take a look at how Ms. Swift made it big...

Taylor knew what she wanted to do at a very early age.  She attempted her first song at the age of 5!  When she was 14, her parents moved the family to Nashville from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania for her to take a stab at becoming a singer-songwriter.  By the time she was 16 she released her first album. 

She has gone on to sell multi-platinum records and won many awards including GRAMMYs and she even enjoys a modeling career as if being a top selling country crossover artist wasn't enough..

How did she do it?

Well, it wasn't easy, but it's not rocket science either.  Here, you will find some basic points to start you out on your songwriting journey. 

1. Study Time: Listen and Learn

The first step to becoming a songwriter is being able to listen and analyze a song. If you want to be a successful writer, listen to the music of a musician that inspires you. Learn to pick out all the instruments in the arrangement.  Learn the song form.  Learn the lyrics.  

What parts of the songs stand out that make each song a hit?  What do the hit songs have in common?

If you went to school to become a great painter, you would first be taught how to paint like the great artists that came before you.  Likewise, you need to learn how the great songwriters that came before you built their songs.

2. Creative Writing: Write What You Know

Like many songwriters, Taylor began writing poetry and short stories at a young age.  Eventually, she put some melodies to some of her poems, which is a great way to start songwriting.  She writes most of her songs based on personal experiences. She calls each of her albums a diary.

You too have events in your life worthy as subject matter for songs! Don’t be afraid to use your experiences as inspiration!  Even small events in your life can make great songs.  How did you feel at a new school or a new home after a move?  What dreams do you have?  Write about those things.

Also, reading books and short stories helps one to become a better writer. Some songwriters like to pick story lines from books.  Fiction will help with your creativity, but also reading about song structure and style techniques like metaphor and rhyme scheme will help too.

Don’t be afraid to put what you know and have learned into words right away.  Nothing makes a great songwriter more than writing lots of songs. 

3. Pick up an Instrument: More Than Words

You can be an awesome lyricist but learning to play an instrument like guitar or piano can help you rise to another level. Taylor didn't really get to songwriting until after a computer repairman taught her a few guitar chords.

She then put her writing skills to work with the few chord progressions and strumming patterns she knew and applied them to write her first songs.

Start with an inexpensive instrument and learn the basic chords, scales and simple songs.  Before long, you will be applying that to your own songs.

4. Keep Learning: Practice Makes Perfect

So you've learned to play a few songs and you started writing on your own.  Or maybe you're struggling a bit. The key is to keep working hard to get better. Nothing happens overnight.

You've got to practice your craft routinely like Taylor did, and continues to do, to improve. She often mentions that she's continually writing even while embarking on major headlining tours.

Practicing just thirty minutes a day is enough to makes steady improvement. It also wouldn't hurt to start taking lessons. Even big stars like Taylor have had help improving.

Taking lessons will speed up your progress like you wouldn’t believe.  Lessons also allow you to learn the proper way to play instrument so you will play them well.  You will also learn about music theory, which is essential in songwriting.  

Voice lessons will develop your singing skills and even help you find your voice as a writer.

While Taylor didn't go to college, if you really want to become a professional songwriter, college study of a subject like English, music or music business will help you perfect you skills and gain the experience you need to make it in the industry.

At The Original Music School, we offer classes in songwriting, music production and more.

At the end of the day, there can be only one Taylor Swift but there is plenty room in the music industry for talented songwriters. Take notes from what Taylor has done right to become a songwriter: study the greats, write from experience, learn an instrument, continue to practice and take classes.

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9  Surprisingly Simple Things Keeping You From Being a Great Musician....

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9 Surprisingly Simple Things Keeping You From Being a Great Musician....

… and how to easily fix them!


The Original Music School (OMS) spent countless hours and dollars researching and developing methods of music education and how it will be delivered to the next generation of great musicians.  

From these studies, came our “Guaranteed Musician,” a new exciting program that works on any instrument including voice.  

We then compared our systems’ results with those of the, commonly understood, best music teaching methods.

Our conclusions shattered old ideas once thought to be common knowledge.

Here, as briefly as possible and in no particular order, are 9 things keeping you from being the great musician you know you can be and how to obliterate them!

1. You Quit Too Soon!   

This might seem like a no brainer, but many potentially great musicians quit before they even give themselves a chance to learn.

Nothing worthwhile happens overnight.  

Greats like Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles spent endless hours developing their talents.  They had teachers, and they needed to practice just like you.

No one is born a great.   It takes time and practice to

become a genius at anything.  The following tips will help you shorten that time.

2. You Misunderstood Words  

Teaching is communicating.  If you do not know the meaning of words the teacher is using, the lesson material cannot be explained clearly.

You simply cannot be learning in that environment.  

We often take for granted that we know the meaning of words we hear.  But if we are asked what a word means, we define it!  

If you can’t define a word, you don’t truly know it’s meaning.  It is important for you to know, for sure, the words used in your lessons.

At OMS, we fixed this problem.  We give our students a list of keywords that will come up in their classes.  These keywords are clearly defined using pictures or video.    

Students then pass an exam on these words.  The result is a more confident student, better communication in class and infinitely better and faster results - a guaranteed musician!

If you would rather take lessons on your own, keep a notebook and a dictionary handy and when a misunderstood word pops up, look it up and learn it’s meaning.

3. The Learning Curve is Too Steep!

No matter your skill level, if you receive too much information too quickly, you will miss things.  

Soon, you will get frustrated and maybe quit trying to learn altogether.  

Often times, good intentioned teachers book one hour lessons and cram as much information into the lesson as possible.

While this may seem beneficial to the students , it is not!  

Most of that information will be forgotten.  

Students should learn new musical ideas in each lesson.  They must also master applying the lesson on their instrument, which includes playing the part in time and in key.  

Another reason to avoid hour lessons is the fact that both the teachers and students tend to lose their energy and attention span after 30 minutes.  

That is why at OMS, we offer multiple half-hour lessons per week in our programs.  Each lesson contains one or two musical ideas.  Then we apply the ideas on the instrument.

Students goes home having created some muscle-memory with the exercise and have a solid understanding of the material.  

A day or so later, the students are back in class learning

and mastering something new!  At the week’s end, our students put in more time than an ineffective hour session.

4. You Are Not Practicing Enough.

In the words of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, “You can’t be great at anything you don’t do everyday.”

So, what’s the magic number?  See the chart below.  

Really great musicians practice all the time.  

Jimi Hendrix carried a guitar with him everywhere he went. You can find pictures of him out and about, always with a guitar in hand.  

In OMS music programs, students get practice time with a group, which is more fun and engaging than doing.  

Teacher monitored practice ensures our students are practicing correctly and making progress at a freakishly fast pace.

You should set a time of day in your smartphones’ calendar for the alarm to remind you to practice.  

Then, set a timer for the amount of time you want to practice.  Be determined that no matter what happens - the house could fall down around you - you will not stop practicing until that timer goes off.  

If 30 minutes seems too long, set your timer for 15 minutes.  

When you are done, take a break.  

“Like” The Original Music School on Facebook.  Then set your timer for another 15 minutes and you are now practicing for 30 minutes a day!

5. No sense of accomplishment.  

If you don’t feel you are  winning, you won’t be motivated and you will quit.

Humans have a very short memory.  Crooked politicians can be in the news for doing bad things, and six months later the public re-elects them!

Likewise, as we grow in our abilities, we forget how horribly we struggled just a short time ago.  Even while we are making great gains we may feel inadequate and unaccomplished.

I recommend you test yourself  or have your teacher test you often, as you progress through your learning.  

Also, go back to what you were studying a month ago, two months ago and so on and look at it.  

If those lessons look similar to what you are now studying, it isn’t working.  But if they look simple compared to today’s lesson, you may be surprised at how far you’ve come!

At OMS, you will learn quickly and prove it often with regular testing through our program.  

Each time you pass a test, you will get a certificate of your accomplishment.  We’ll take a photo of you, post it on our Facebook page and add a quote by you and the whole world will know of your success.

6. You are taking private 1-on-1 Lessons.  

For years, the gurus have been saying that 1-on-1 lessons give you the highest value for your dollar but that is simply not true.

There is often a “him against me ” feeling.

When you are alone in a room with just your teacher, real or imagined, you may feel he is harshly judging your every move on your instrument.  

You imagine he is fretting over the lack of practice you put in last week.  You dwell that he might be upset at the time it is taking you to master the lesson.  

That is an unpleasant experience to say the least!

Time is wasted with pleasantries like, “how was your day,” and other small talk common when two people greet each other.  

It’s great to be cordial, but it is easy to lapse into time wasting chatter when it is just the two of you.  

In fact, that is a common technique I’ve seen kids perform on teachers when the student has not practiced for the lesson.

You can feel very alone when you are struggling to learn a new musical idea and applying it to your instrument in your lesson.

You may feel like you are the only person in the world, or at least this room, who can’t get it!

You lose motivation.  

You feel like the teacher doesn’t understand you because he can play it just fine.  Alone in your struggle you ask yourself, “what’s the point?”

At OMS, you won’t have these issues because our lessons are taught in very small groups.  

You get the benefits of  the attention had in a private lesson without the drawbacks.  

This new system gives you have the added benefit of learning with a peer group who understand your struggle.  They are going through it too!

You support each other and you are part of a team that is learning together.  

7. You Chose Your Teacher Because He Is a Superstar.

This happens often when people choose a teacher and it creates a teacher-centric mentality.  

Half of your first class is spent having to sit there listening to the teacher tell you how good he is and who he’s played with. Then he wastes more time proving it by playing for you.  

You’ve just paid for a concert instead of a lesson and besides that, his playing ability proves nothing!  

Just because he can play doesn’t mean he can teach.  

Babe Ruth - perhaps the greatest home run hitter in the history of baseball - did it so naturally, he would have been a horrible teacher.   

He never had to have it taught to him.  He just did it.

Likewise, if a teacher can play an instrument, it doesn’t mean that he can teach you to play.  They are two separate skills.

That is why OMS has the “Guaranteed Musician” curriculum - a program that puts all the attention on the student - not the teacher - and has been proven over and over to deliver results.  

8. You Avoid the Metronome.

To be a great musician you need to have a great sense of timing and meter.  

You will need to play to a click track (what we call a metronome in the recording studio) when you are performing as an artist or a session musician in the studio.

You need a great sense of time when you are playing live to keep you from speeding up or slowing down.  Imagine playing a wedding and the tempo is all over the place!  That would be embarrassing for everyone.

At OMS all of our lessons are taught and practiced to a metronome.  We even tell you what BPM (beats per minute) setting for each lesson.  

Our students start with the metronome set at slower speeds and we speed it up as they master each lesson.  

Do this and your timing will improve quickly.   Keep notes and measure how much you’ve improved each week.

9. You Don’t Sing.

You may not consider yourself worthy to sing or perhaps you just don’t want to.  I have two thoughts on that.  

First, you should know that singing musicians get more gigs, so learn how to sing!  

You don’t need a great voice to sing backing vocals or even many lead vocals.  You just need to be able to sing on key.

Second, if you sing the parts you are learning on your instrument, you will internalize the parts better and learn them faster.  

You may even become a bit of a singer since you will learn notes, scales and melodies and how to produce them with your voice.

An Invitation

Every day, The Original Music School empowers people like you to become guaranteed musicians of every type and style.

The body of our experience and the efficacy of our systems can only be hinted at in the space available here.  

So, I am extending a personal invitation for you to come in and try a lesson - free of charge and with no further obligation.  

Learn for yourself why hundreds of aspiring musicians, songwriters and producers have chosen OMS to acquire the skills needed to become movers and shakers in the modern music industry.  

Even if you would be more content just playing the piano at home or strumming a guitar by a campfire, The Original Music School can give you the gift of music that you will enjoy and share with your friends and family for a lifetime.

Simply fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you within 24 hours.  We look forward to calling you a musician -guaranteed!



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They Laughed When I Walked Up to the Mic', But When I Started Playing! ...

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They Laughed When I Walked Up to the Mic', But When I Started Playing! ...

Justin had just played Ed Sheeran's hit, "Thinking Out Loud" at the school talent show. The theater rang with applause.  I was sure that this would be a dramatic moment for me to make my debut.  To the amazement of all my friends, I strode confidently to the mic’ with my guitar in hand. 

  “Emmi’s up to her old tricks,” somebody chuckled.  The crowd laughed.  They were all certain that I couldn’t play a single note.

  “Can she really play?” I heard a girl whisper to Justin backstage.

  “Heck no!” Justin exclaimed.  “She never played a note in her life... But just watch her. This is gonna be good.”

I decided to make the most of the situation.  I raised my hand in the air and then bowed into a curtsy just as I’ve seen Taylor Swift do to greet her audience.

   “Is Emmi the next big music star?” shouted someone in the balcony.

   “Oh, we’re sure of it!” came back an answer from the floor, and the crowd rocked with laughter.

Then I Started to Play

Instantly, a tense silence fell on the audience.  The laughter died on their lips as if by magic.  I played and sang the first lines of the song I wrote last week and I could hear gasps of amazement.  My friends sat breathless - spellbound.

 I played and sang on and as I continued, I forgot the people in the audience.  I forgot the hour, the place, the breathless listeners.  The little world I lived in seemed to fade and a new exciting reality started to shine.  This was unreal! Only the music was real - only the music and the imaginary video of my song that played in my head.  The imagery I learned to craft with words and melodies, and the chords and counter melodies I learned to use to accompany myself.  It seemed as if every person in every seat was connecting with me and my feelings, which I had put into words and music.  I was being heard!

A Complete Triumph! 

As the last notes of my song died away, the theater resounded with a roar of applause.  I found myself surrounded by excited faces.  My friends went nuts! People ran up and hugged me - wildly congratulated me - squeezing my hands in their enthusiasm!  Everybody was shouting with delight - asking me so many questions... “Emmi! Why didn’t you tell us you could sing and play like that!  Where did you find such an amazing song?  How can I get a copy of it?” . . . “Where did you learn that?” - “How long have you studied?” - “Who was your teacher?”

     “The song is my song,” I replied.  “I wrote it.  And just a few months ago, I couldn’t play a note.”

   “Yeah, right,” laughed Justin, himself an accomplished guitarist and singer. “You’ve been studying for years.  I can tell.”

   “I’ve only been studying a short while,” I insisted.  “I decided to keep it a secret so that I could surprise everyone at the talent show."  Then I told them the whole story.

   “Have you heard of The Original Music School?” I asked.  A few of my friends nodded.  “That place is here in Morristown, right?”

   “Yes,” I replied.  “We call it OMS for short.  They have a new simplified method that can teach you to play any instrument in just three months!  And the friends I made are so fun and supportive.  I’m even playing in a band there!  Oh, and about the song...  It’s on  Spotify,  Itunes and my artist profile Soundcloud page.  I recorded it at The Original Music School’s professional recording studio,” I said proudly. 

How I Learned to Play and Write Songs In Just 3 Months!

   And then I explained how I always wanted to play guitar and sing. 

  “One night I saw a boy performing his own songs at the pizza shop in town. When he took a break, I told him how great I thought he was.” 

“Then he told me his secret.”

   He said, “Go to The Original Music School and you can do it too!  In no time!”  He told me how this new method of learning to play had him playing at open mic’s and performing his favorite songs in just three months.  Best of all, he didn’t need to practice home alone everyday.  No heartless exercises. And he made lots of new friends there who played too!  It sounded so good that I went to the OMS website and signed up for the Free "Guaranteed Musician" Demonstration Lesson.

I took the first lesson and I was amazed to see how easy it was to play this new way.  I signed up right away.  At each class, I found it was as easy as they said - as easy as A.B.C.!  As the lessons continued, it got easier and easier.  Before I knew it, I was playing with a band.  Nothing stopped me.  I soon signed up for the group songwriting class and I began playing and singing songs I wrote and recorded in OMS' professional recording studios! 

In the past, I had taken lessons at other schools but it was taking forever to even play a few chords!

*  * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Play Any Instrument

You too, can learn to be an accomplished musician - and artist too - in a third of the usual time.  You can’t go wrong with this simple new method, which has already enabled hundreds of people to play their favorite songs on their favorite instruments.

Even if you aren’t as driven as Emmi.  Even if you just want to sit home by a fire and strum your favorite songs, this is for you.  

Forget the old-fashioned idea that you need special “talent.” Just go to the OMS Contact Form.  Tell us you want to play and OMS will do the rest.  

 If you don’t have an instrument, OMS will get you one at the best price you’ll find anywhere!  No matter whether you are a beginner or already a good performer, you will be interested in learning this new and wonderful method.

So CLICK HERE NOW!  Let's get started!!

 

 

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New podcast series "dharmic evolution" interviews founder of oms anthony vitale

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New podcast series "dharmic evolution" interviews founder of oms anthony vitale

Original Music School’s founder Anthony Vitale was recently interviewed by the new podcast series "dHarmic Evolution" created and hosted by James Kevin O'Connor.

The podcast creates a platform on inspired interviews from Music and Film Producers, songwriters, actors, mentors, and all who have an Inspired story to share, this show is all original, complete with original music from James Kevin O'Connor.

The interview spans from Anthony's personal journey and musical career to the inception of The Original Music School, which was created in light of an optimistic hope for future original creative individuals. Besides a vast range of topics, Anthony discusses the bold move of turning down another music school franchise which will go unnamed, (School of Rock) to create something that seems utterly daunting to most. 

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